Kremlin Youth Movement Gain Supporters From Beyond The Grave

December 22, 2017

On December 14, the “Putin is cool” hashtag began to surface on Russian social network site VKontakte during this year’s presidential press conference.  Posts with Putin’s face and his quotes with the logo of the United Russia youth movement spread across VKontakte with the intention of encouraging people to watch the press conference.

This seemed more or less fine until the moment when VKontakte users began to notice that a significant portion of the messages were sent from accounts that had not been active for a number of years.  It was later discovered that these accounts had belonged to people who died 3-4 years ago and their pages were full of posts with commemorations and farewell gestures.  The relatives of the people in question also confirmed their deaths.

Journalists from found several accounts to prove this. One of them was the account of a woman whose page was used to publish supporting pictures of Putin throughout 2017, regardless of the fact that she passed away back in 2013.

VKontakte’s PR office confirmed the bizarre spree of messages from beyond the grave and claimed that the accounts in question were hacked. However, when suspicious activity was reported, some of the accounts were immediately blocked.  A VKontakte representative said: “Moderators blocked the suspicious pages very quickly.  We will continue to improve our tools to combat page break-ins as well as the operational blocking of stolen accounts”.  The United Russia youth movement’s press office declined to comment.